Category Archives: Local News

Fair Board Meeting

Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair board meeting Thursday

A regular meeting of the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair board is set for Thursday, November 5th in the boardroom of the main office at the Bishop Fairgrounds.  The meeting of the 18th district agricultural association (fair board) will begin at 1pm.

Thursdays agenda includes the staff managers report from Suzanne Wolfsberger-Gruwell.  Suzanne will cover events that have been happening at the fairgrounds since the last board meeting and will provide the exhibit report.

Ben Barlow will deliver the maintenance report and an update on the main arena timing clock.

Thursdays agenda also includes a Fair wrap-up looking at attendance, finances and the fair survey.

A executive session is scheduled to look at personnel matters including litigation with former CEO Sally Symons.  As the 2015 Tri-County fair was starting up, then CEO Sally Symons was asked to step down.  Symons worked as CEO from March of 2014  until Sunday, September 6th.  According to a statement from the California highway patrol….”In July of 2015, the California Highway Patrol, Inland Division Investigative Services Unit, initiated an investigation into the possible embezzlement of funds from the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds.  During the extensive investigation, CHP investigators determined Bishop area resident Sally Ann Symons, 46, embezzled funds belonging to the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fair.   On October 21, Symons was detained and transported to the Bishop Area CHP office for questioning.  The CHP report containing the embezzlement and other various charges will be submitted to the Inyo County District Attorney’s office for review.”
As of today (Tuesday, November 3rd) Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy confirms that his office is yet to receive the report.

eastern sierra tri-county fair, sally symons, california highway patrol, bishop embezzlement, tri-county fair board

LADWP Removes Aqueduct Dam


Statement from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power:

Bishop, CA – After meeting environmental demands in the Eastern Sierra for the irrigation season, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) removed the temporary dam in the Los Angeles Aqueduct, unblocking the system and allowing exportation of approximately 22,000 acre feet (AF) of water gathered from the Inyo/Mono Basin this runoff year to flow south to Los Angeles.

The temporary dam was put in place in April near the south end of Owens Lake to hold back Eastern Sierra runoff water in the Owens Valley for environmental purposes during this period of extreme drought. The first-of-its-kind dam effort enabled LADWP to successfully meet its environmental and other water commitments in the Owens Valley.

“While our past actions may have contributed to negative impacts in the Eastern Sierra region, our current mitigation efforts are working to not only restore the land, but also our relationship to the local community,” LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards said.

“On a normal year, nearly half of all Los Angeles Aqueduct water from the Inyo/Mono Basin stays in the Owens Valley for Owens Lake, environmental mitigation efforts, irrigation, and other uses,” LADWP Los Angeles Aqueduct Manager Jim Yannotta said. “This year, with the snow pack at just four percent of normal, there isn’t enough water to fulfill the needs of both the Owens Valley and Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles received drastic water reductions, demonstrating LADWP’s strength of commitment to the Eastern Sierra community.”

The total Eastern Sierra water supply on an average year is approximately 541,000 AF. Of this amount, approximately 230,000 AF is typically exported from the Eastern Sierra region to Los Angeles. The rest, nearly 50 percent, is kept in the Owens Valley for uses including environmental mitigation, recreation, habitat enhancement, irrigation and dust mitigation on the Owens Lake, among others. This year, with the temporary aqueduct dam in place, Angelenos will receive just 10 percent of typical exports.

With the residents of Los Angeles receiving a drastic reduction of water from the Eastern Sierra, LADWP had to increase purchased imported water from the Metropolitan Water District and the State Water Project. In addition, Los Angeles increased conservation levels above their already state-leading efforts, meeting stringent goals mandated by Governor Brown and Mayor Garcetti. As a result of this conservation Los Angeles has the lowest water use per capita of all major U.S. cities with a population of over 1 million.

In addition to conservation, LADWP is hard at work shoring up local water resources by increasing stormwater capture efforts and recycled water programs. Furthermore, the Department is cleaning up the San Fernando Groundwater Basin where man-made pollution caused by industrial activities beginning in the 1940s severely impaired the quality of the groundwater, forcing the closure of nearly half of LADWP’s production wells in the area. Staff is working to remove contamination from the groundwater and restore use of the aquifer which once provided over 28 billion gallons per year – nearly two months of the City’s water supply.

With these increases in local water supplies and conservation efforts, Los Angeles is on track to cut imported water purchases from the Sacramento Bay Delta and Colorado River in half by 2025, and an Executive Directive from Mayor Garcetti last year has cemented these commitments.

photo submitted

ladwp, la aqueduct dam removal, owens dry lake, los angeles department of water and power

Bow Wow Boutique November 14

Bow Wow Boutique brings great shopping to Bishop on November 14

submitted by Betsy Thomsen:

Cute Guide Dog puppies and shopping – what could be more fun? On Saturday, November 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the community is invited to shop for a good cause, Guide Dogs for the Blind, at the Bow Wow Boutique.

The Bow Wow Boutique is one stop shopping from local direct sales merchants, with a percentage of all sales being donated to Guide Dogs for the Blind and Eastern Sierra Guide Puppies, the local puppy raising club.

Featured at the Bow Wow Boutique will be useful and fun kitchen items from The Pampered Chef, gorgeous bling from Premier Designs Jewelry, stylish and comfortable women’s fashions and shapewear from Ruby Ribbon, and home fragrance products from Gold Canyon Candles. Also available will be health and wellness products from Juice Plus, makeup and skin care products from May Kay and bags and other accessories from Thirty One.

Just in time for Christmas and the holiday season, the Bow Wow Boutique promises a fun shopping experience, complete with cute puppies, complimentary refreshments and a silent auction.

Local Guide Dog puppies in training Pilsner, Eliza, Remus and Fuller will be on hand to welcome shoppers. Information on the local puppy raising club will also be available.

puppy big
Guide Puppy Fuller. photo submitted

The Bow Wow Boutique will be in held in the fellowship hall at First Presbyterian Church, 585 N. Main Street (across from McDonalds) in Bishop. For more information contact Betsy Thomsen at 760-920-8891 or More information on Guide Dogs for the Blind can be found at

bishop guide dogs, bow wow boutique, guide dogs for the blind, betsy thomsen

Bishop Rotary Clubs Make a Big Donation

Rotary gives big bucks for a big range

Submitted by Pat Nahin:

October 21st, Rotary Clubs of Bishop presented a “big check” in the amount of $9000.00 to Pastor Matt McPhee to help purchase a new commercial range with burners, griddle and 2 ovens for The Bishop First United Methodist Church.   A separate legal check was given to the Pastor!  Rotarian Ed Morse has been helping in the Soup Kitchen and recognized the need for a new range.  He suggested that the two Rotary clubs in Bishop apply for grants from the Rotary District 5190 plus contribute money from each club.  Rotary Club Presidents Kammi Foote and Sue Lyndes got together and accomplished receiving the grants and donations.  Pastor Matt is now shopping for the new Range with installation anticipated in time for the community Christmas dinner.

Pastor Matt said the Soup Kitchen was established to provide nourishing lunches to those in need.  An average of 75 hot, nutritious and freshly prepared lunches are served every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon in the Bishop First United Methodist Center (205 N. Fowler St.)  In addition, showers are available from 9:30 am to 11:30 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The Church not only serves the homeless and those in special need, but also those who simply wish to join with others in fellowship.  Pastor Matt said the church is thankful for the many groups that partner with them to make the meal and shower ministry possible.

Contributions to the United Methodist Social Services are greatly appreciated.  They are now in need of a new commercial freezer!
The Rotary Club of Bishop and the Sunrise Rotary  are part of over 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders who meet to exchange ideas and take action to create positive change in their communities and worldwide.

For more information please contact Sue Lyndes at 873 4958.

Photo by Pat Nahin, Pictured from left to right, starting at the back: Eric Butner, Phil McDowell, Ed Morse, Nancy Hardy, Wynne Benti, Will Richmond. 2nd Row: Ramona Delmas, Pastor Matt McPhee, Ellen Siegel, Pastor Erin Maddox McPhee, Rick Litman Kneeling down: Tom Hardy, Kammi Foote, Sunrise Rotary President, Sue Lyndes, noon Rotary President, Jeff Griffiths
Photo by Pat Nahin, Pictured from left to right, starting at the back: Eric Butner, Phil McDowell, Ed Morse, Nancy Hardy, Wynne Benti, Will Richmond. 2nd Row: Ramona Delmas, Pastor Matt McPhee, Ellen Siegel, Pastor Erin Maddox McPhee, Rick Litman Kneeling down: Tom Hardy, Kammi Foote, Sunrise Rotary President, Sue Lyndes, noon Rotary President, Jeff Griffiths

Cover Photo, Ed Morse, Pastor Matt McPhee and Sue Lyndes

Bishop Rotary Club, Bishop Sunrise Rotary Club, Bishop first united Methodist church

Salvation Army Places Building Project on Hold

Steep Increase in Project Costs Cited As Cause

Statement from the Salvation Army:

BISHOP, CA (October 27, 2015):  Due to increasing project costs exceeding available resources, The Salvation Army will put on hold plans to construct a new, permanent facility on Mac Iver Street in Bishop.  The Salvation Army met with key stakeholders yesterday, to review options to raise additional funds needed to fulfill the project budget, or to identify a suitable existing property for renovation to meet the needs for both corps and thrift store operations.

“The Salvation Army will continue to work with community leaders to determine the next steps toward finalizing this project,” said Lt. Col. Cindy Foley, Divisional Leader of The Salvation Army’s Golden State Division.  “We’re hopeful the community can help us find a solution.”

The Salvation Army, which has served Inyo and Mono Counties since 1997, rents two locations in Bishop to operate its critical safety net services, worship programs, and thrift store operations.  The intent of the new facility was to alleviate the ongoing costs of leasing space, while providing an adequate space to meet the expanding needs of the community.

The Salvation Army provides a variety of services to the local community, including assisting families and individuals in emergency situations with basic human needs such as emergency food, clothing, health services and shelter. Volunteer job training, youth programs, marital and personal counseling are also provided, as well as referrals to rehabilitation programs.  Seasonal assistance is offered through The Salvation Army during the holidays, providing meals, food boxes, clothing and toys to families and individuals in need. The Salvation Army has a team of disaster response trained volunteers on stand-by, ready to deploy and assist with both local and regional disasters, including forest fires and large-scale accidents on Highway 395 (an example being the Round Fire earlier this year). And finally, The Salvation Army offers affordable goods through its Family Thrift Store, and sales from the thrift store help fund local programs.

Despite the delay of construction, The Salvation Army will continue operations in existing leased space on W. Line Street and N. Main Street.  All contributions toward the building capital campaign have been earmarked accordingly and are being held for when this project is ready to move forward.  No building capital campaign monies have been used to fund daily operations.
More information about the programs and services offered by the Salvation Army of Bishop can be found online at, or on Facebook at

salvation army bishop, salvation army building project, inyo and mono county news

BUHS Seniors dominate Powder Puff Football Game

BUHS Seniors Win 26-0

Homecoming 2015 is underway at Bishop Union High School.  The festivities kicked off in grand fashion Monday night with the traditional Powder Puff football game pitting the Junior girls vs the Senior Girls.  The Seniors make quick work of the Juniors winning 26-0.

Senior Quarterback Kristy Dohnel (a star on the BUHS soccer team) started the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run.  Following a quick 4 and out by the Junior offense the Seniors added to their lead with a 4-yard touchdown run by Ritz Garcia, also a standout on the Bronco soccer team.  ASB president Katie Doonan nailed the point after kick putting the Seniors on top 13-0.

Senior Track and Field standout Selena Duenas scored the third senior touchdown racing around the junior defense.  Doonan drilled the point after making the halftime score 20-0.

The strong senior defensive effort continued in the second half with great play from Kristy Dohnel, Maria Jimenez, Audrey Bear, Katrina Biehl, and Cienna Martinez.  Martinez picked off a Junior pass in the second half dashing any hopes of a Junior comeback.

The halftime show featured the Powder Puff cheerleaders William Moore, Carson Reid, Bailey Nolan, Holden McIndoo, Joel Talamantes, and Andy Watt.  Their stunning, high flying halftime show entertained the crowd but also drew a penalty flag from volunteer referees Lee Cox and Eddie Davis.

Homecoming 2015 at Bishop Union High School continues tonight with the “Power Puff Volleyball Game” featuring the boys of BUHS testing their volleyball skills at Gus Klekas Gym.  Game time 7pm tonight (Tuesday).

Thursday the Bronco Volleyball team plays California City with JV action beginning at 2pm, Varsity to follow.  The game time has been moved up to allow all to make it to the Parade at 5:30.  The parade with head down Home Street ending at the Tri-county fairgrounds.  The bonfire will follow the parade in the fairgrounds main arena.

Friday football will feature the Broncos hosting 0-8 Frazier Mt.   Varsity only at 7pm.  Gates open at 6:00 with pre-game festivities beginning at 6:30.  You can buy your tickets in advance at the main office of BUHS.

all Photos by Gary Young

#17 Justice Piper leads the way for #20 Selena Duenas. #31 Little Eva Lent closes in.
Bailey Nolan stands tall with help from (L to R) Holden McIndoo, Joel Talamantes, William Moore, Carson Reid.
Bronco Fans!
Dohnel, Duenas and Garcia in the Senior team huddle.
#70 Jordan Boxley holds for #32 Katie Doonan
#52 Hanna Wassdorp on the run.
Senior Coach Angel Santana.
The trenches.
Waasdorp with the pass.
Waasdorp stopped by #70 Jordan Boxley
#31 Little Eva Lent.
#76 Audrey Bear, fired up!
Halftime Show!
Bailey Nolan showing great trust in his boys.
Joel Talamantes with the back flip.
Cheer team with coach Sheri Nolan and Sargent Danny Nolan.
Junior team photo.
#48 Danni Derousseau front and center of the Junior team.
bishop union high school, bishop union high school sports, bishop bronco sports, bishop homecoming 2015, andy watt the cheerleader

Officials Lifting Fire Restrictions

BLM and Forest Service Lifting Fire Restrictions

Inter-agency Press Release:

The Bishop Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management and the Inyo National Forest announce that fire restrictions put into place for the Eastern Sierra this summer will be rescinded today, Monday, October 26, at midnight.

Recent rain and snow, combined with increased humidity, shorter days, and cooler night time temperatures have prompted the land management agencies to lift the fire restrictions put into place earlier this summer. Mike Beasley, Interagency Fire Management Officer for the Bishop Field Office and Inyo National Forest, urges the public to keep fire safety in mind to avoid resource and property damage. “While we are comfortable lifting the fire restrictions at this time, we urge the public to use common sense and exercise caution when recreating outdoors in order to decrease the chance of human-caused fires,” said Beasley.

A campfire permit is still required for those camping outside of developed campgrounds and can be obtained at visitor centers or online at

Important fire safety reminders for outdoor activities on public lands include:

  1. Prevent vehicle related fires by maintaining proper tire pressure, ensuring adequate tire tread, and checking your brakes for overheating. Avoid traveling or parking on brush or grass. Ensure chains are not dragging while towing.

2. Use of exploding targets, including Binary Explosive Targets, while recreationally shooting is both a fire hazard and illegal. Use of tracer rounds while target shooting is also a fire hazard and illegal. The use of steel-core ammunition, although legal, can greatly increase the chance of a wildfire.

 3. Motorcycles, ATV’s and chainsaws require an approved spark arrestor.

 4. Get your California Campfire Permit online at

 Help prevent wildfires…..One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire

inyo national forest, blm bishop field office, fire restrictions, help prevent wildfires, eastern sierra news

Season Ending at Devils Postpile

Devils Postpile National Monument Announces Closure for the Season

Devils Postpile National Monument has announced that the monument will close for the winter on Monday, October 26th, 2015 at 3:00 pm. It is anticipated that the inter-agency prescribed fire (on Devils Postpile and Inyo National Forests lands) will occur Tuesday, October 27th. During the prescribed burn, the access road to the monument and all trails and access to the Devils Postpile formation will be closed and will remain closed for the season. The monument will open again at the start of the summer season in 2016.

According to the Inyo National Forest, the main Reds Meadow Road is anticipated to still be open, weather permitting, and the trail to Rainbow Falls will still be accessible during the prescribed burn. Traffic control will be in effect on the Reds Meadow Road during the time the prescribed burning occurs.

Prescribed fires reduce fuels for building protection by removing the amount of forest debris that can fuel an unplanned fire in hotter and drier conditions. Prescribed fires are dependent on the correct conditions for temperature, wind, relative humidity, and other factors. Under optimal conditions, fire crews conducting a prescribed fire are able to simulate a natural fire cycle. Fires can reduce forest competition and increase biodiversity of plant and animal life. In 2011, an unusual wind event resulted in the blowdown of thousands of trees, and this prescribed burn will reduce the risk of a catastrophic fire at the monument.

Deanna Dulen, park superintendent, would like to thank visitors for exploring and enjoying monument this season and invites everyone to join in the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration with Devils Postpile National Monument throughout the 2016 season.

devils postpile national monument, eastern sierra news, prescribed fire, reds meadow road, inyo national forest

Man Charged in Sequoia Petroglyph Case


The Department of Justice, Office of the United States Attorney, Eastern District of California released the following statement in regards to vandalism at a nearby prehistoric petroglyph site.  Petroglyphs in Sequioa National Forest, Kern County, were damaged.

FRESNO , Calif. —Christopher James Harp, 58, was arraigned Friday, October 23rd in Fresno after a federal grand jury returned an indictment on Thursday, charging him with depredation of public lands, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Harp entered a plea of not guilty at today’s arraignment.

According to court documents, on September 6, 2015, an archaeologist with the United States Forest Service reported graffiti of numerous boulders at a location known as Rabbit Island, a large rock outcropping in the Sequoia National Forest in Kern County that was once the site of a large Tubatulabal Indian village. Agents found black asphalt sealer sprayed on rocks over about 100 yards, including damage to a prehistoric petroglyph of a bighorn sheep on the face of a large boulder.

This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Forest Service. Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Frye is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Harp faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

sequoia national forest, petroglyphs in kern county, us department of justice, tubatulabal indian village

Thursday Arrest

Bishop Man arrested twice

20-year old Darrell Maddox Jr was arrested Thursday.  The Inyo County Sheriffs department and California Highway Patrol participated.  The Inyo County Sheriffs department released the following statement:

At approximately 1:00am Thursday morning Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Darrell Maddox Jr, a 20-year old man from Bishop, was intoxicated and behaving erratically. When Inyo County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the location where Maddox was reported to be, Maddox attempted to flee on foot. Deputies were able to detain Maddox; however Maddox was uncooperative, refused a field sobriety test, and was ultimately taken into custody for resisting/obstructing. While en route to the Inyo County Jail, Maddox began kicking the patrol vehicle ultimately damaging the inside of the door. Maddox was booked for obstruction, and vandalism.  After being detained in a sobering cell, Maddox was released with a notice to appear.

Later in the day Thursday, shortly after 10:00am the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification that Maddox had assaulted an elderly man outside of Carroll’s Market in Big Pine. The victim reportedly picked Maddox up as a hitchhiker directly north of Independence. Maddox asked to be dropped off in Big Pine; once the vehicle stopped the victim reported that Maddox punched him in the face then stole his wallet and phone.

Two California Highway Patrol officers located Maddox on the east side of Big Pine. Maddox got into a physical altercation with the officers, striking one of the CHP officers, which prompted the deployment of a Taser. CHP arrested Maddox, but then transferred custody to Inyo County Sheriff’s Office for booking. Maddox was booked into the Inyo County Jail under the following charges: felony robbery, felony cruelty to an elder, obstruction, resisting arrest, and battery on Peace Officer. Bail has been set at $100,000.

cover photo, Darrell Maddox Jr, photo provided by the Inyo County Sheriffs department

arrest in big pine, california highway patrol, inyo county sheriffs department, inyo county news